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Agents cite four men for illegal shrimping in two separate cases in Plaquemines Parish

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited four Plaquemines Parish men for alleged commercial fishing violations in two separate cases in Plaquemines Parish during May.

On May 9 agents cited Deiontae James, 25, of Venice, and Vashawn Taylor, age 24, of Boothville, for using skimmer nets during a closed season.  James was also cited for not possessing a gear license and vessel license.

On May 17 agents cited Duke Berghman, 49, of Buras, and Patrick Pelas, 47, of Venice, for using skimmer nets in a closed area.  Berghman was also cited for no running lights.

Agents found James and Taylor while on patrol near Yellow Cotton when they observed them actively using skimmer nets in a closed shrimping area on May 9.  Agents seized 180 pounds of shrimp.

Agents were on patrol near Chicharas Bay when they observed Berghman and Pelas actively using skimmer nets in a closed shrimping area on May 17.  Agents seized 139 pounds of shrimp.

Using skimmer nets during a closed shrimp season carries up to a $950 fine and 120 days in jail.  Taking commercial fish without a gear license and vessel license each carry up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.  Operating a vessel with no running lights brings up to a $50 fine and 15 days in jail.

In addition, for the first conviction of shrimping during the closed season, the court may revoke or suspend the violator’s trawl, skimmer, or butterfly gear licenses for one year from the date of the conviction.  During such revocation or suspension, the violator may be present on a vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or possessing a trawl, skimmer, or butterfly net only if the vessel is equipped with and employs an operating vessel monitoring system, which is accessible to LDWF.  The violator may also have to perform 40 hours of community service.

Agents participating in both cases are Corporal Thomas Forehand and Senior Agent Kyle Haydel.